Duke Realty Associates Make Their 2015 Annual Day of Service a Rousing Success

ATL_Books for Africa_Brian Sutton 2A 2,839-hour day sounds long and tiring. But if you’re Duke Realty and you’ve got several hundred of your associates helping out, it’s entirely the opposite.

That was the story on Friday, April 17, when Duke Realty associates all over the nation volunteered at 21 local organizations for Duke Realty’s second annual Day of Service. Beyond all the good work that was given back to Duke Realty communities, 2015’s Annual Day of Service boasted several other distinctions, according to Duke Realty Diversity Council Chair Sharon Lleva-Carter.

“For this year’s event, we were proud to have nearly 500 of our associates helping out,” said Lleva-Carter. “It’s very inspiring to see 74% of our associates in a community outreach capacity. Duke Realty has a strong diversity foundation, which includes serving a diverse group of community organizations to strengthen the communities where we live and work.”

Activities that lead up to the Annual Day of Service are key to creating high levels of participation, says Duke Realty Chief Human Resources Officer, Denise Dank.

DAL_Duke Realty Assoicates Working Outside“We use lead-up activities to build interest,” Dank said. “We may have departments compete against one another, or we’ll begin weeks beforehand by asking people to donate. Our CEO talks about it during his quarterly all-associate conference call.”

Dank also pointed out that while the Annual Day of Service occurs company-wide, each market plans differently. Each market’s diversity council member sits down with the local market leaders to discuss which organizations or efforts might be the best fit.

On this year’s Annual Day of Service, Dank joined her fellow Duke Realty associates from the Indianapolis office at Lutherwood, an Indianapolis organization that provides space, care, and counsel to young people who have been victims of abuse or other trauma. Duke Realty associates helped to clean, organize, and make other improvements to the facility’s building and grounds.

Associates in other markets performed similar services: from California, where associates worked on a Habitat for Humanity build, to Washington, D.C., where they helped to spruce up the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve.

IND_DSC_5660Other projects for the Annual Day of Service, by market, were as follows:

  • Atlanta – Books for Africa, Atlanta Community Food Bank, and Gwinnett Children’s Shelter
  • California – Habitat for Humanity
  • Central Florida – Give Kids The World Village
  • Chicago – Habitat for Humanity ReStore
  • Cincinnati – Little Sisters of the Poor St. Paul’s Home
  • Columbus – Ronald McDonald House
  • Dallas – Salvation Army
  • Houston – Houston Food Bank
  • Minneapolis – Second Harvest Heartland and Loaves and Fishes
  • Nashville – Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee
  • Pennsylvania – Palmer Township
  • Phoenix – Office of Oral Health
  • Raleigh – Ronald McDonald House
  • St. Louis – St. Patrick Center Public School District
  • South Florida – The Pantry of Broward
  • Washington D.C. – Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve

Duke Realty’s Annual Day of Service was created two years ago on the recommendation of Duke Realty’s Diversity Council. Each date thus far has been chosen to coincide with National Volunteer Week, in order to reinforce the message of community involvement.

“We were already doing a lot,” Dank said. “The Annual Day of Service supplements the other community-minded things we do by allowing us to make a huge impact all in one day.”

To see more pictures from some of the worthwhile projects Duke Realty associates got involved with this year, take a look at the slideshow below.

Note: For your best viewing experience, click Start Prezi, then the full-screen icon in the lower right corner of the window. If your device asks about keyboard controls, choose Allow. Then choose a four-second delay from the autoplay selector just to the left of the full-screen icon.